Wilmer Andrés and David Cabrera are playing their rookie seasons with RGVFC next to their best friend: each other.
They always say experiences are better when you can share them with someone you love. Well, Wilmer Andrés Jr., 18, also known as Andy, and David Cabrera, 23, are each experiencing their first professional soccer season with one another, both playing for Rio Grande Valley FC.
“This is actually the first time we have ever played on the same team before. We have obviously played soccer together but never on a club team or professional organization,” Andy explained. He has been playing soccer since he could walk.
He said, “It’s extremely amazing. It was a dream we both shared but never thought it was actually going to come true. Not many people get to live out their dreams, and the fact that I can do that and at the same time have my brother along side me, is incredible. We are able to push each other to get better and compete every single day and it’s an awesome feeling being able to not only share the field with him but also living with him.”
“It has honestly been a dream come true to be able to play alongside my brother,” added David. “He’s my best friend and to be able to share these moments together is something incredible.”
Despite being older, David has actually played less soccer than his younger brother. “I began playing soccer very late, around the age of 14,” he said. “But, it wasn’t until I was a senior in HS that I developed a strong passion for the sport and wanted it to be a big part of my life in the near future.” After working on his engineering degree for four years, he decided to try out for the Toros. When I asked David how much they talk soccer with their dad, he answered, “Everyday, his life revolves around soccer and so does mine and my brothers. Soccer is an everyday topic for us.”
Yes, in case you were wondering, the Cabrera brothers are the sons of Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera Sr. He and their mother are proud of their sons for their soccer career, but maybe more so because of the young men that they are. “I’m a father who is always proud of his kids,” Wilmer Sr. said. “They are very good kids, well educated, very good people. They are responsible and they know what they want. I’m just another father supporting and loving his kids.” The brothers have an older sister, Laura, who tried soccer in high school but decided to focus on other things.
While Andy and David are rotational players in their rookie seasons, their dad was a Colombian international player that featured in the 1998 World Cup. I asked Wilmer Sr. what his sons do better than him at the same age on the pitch. “They have some different skills than mine, definitely. The quality of David’s passing is better than mine. He can pass the ball, one-two touch, and his technique is very good in that aspect and better than mine,” he said.
“I can say that Wilmer Andrés has more technique and quality. Left foot, right foot, finishing, and his awareness is very good.”
He added, “What they lack (compared to me) is that I was a warrior and I was survivor than them in my time. I had to fight for everything and they don’t have that. I wasn’t that good in my time, so I had to work hard to survive. I’m tougher than them.”
Wilmer Sr. explains that he was playing in a tougher country, Colombia, and he needed to fight and defend himself because he had nobody else around him to help. “But, they are both focused and hopefully, they can continue,” the proud dad shared.
Continuing the comparing of skills, the two brothers are pretty evenly matched in their second favorite activity together: video games. They play a lot of FIFA, Fortnite, and Call of Duty. David thinks he has an edge of Wilmer Jr. in swimming and said they are very competitive in anything they do.
RGVFC captain Todd Wharton explained that their competitiveness helps drive a solid work ethic. “Their work ethic is great. They come to practice everyday looking to work hard and get better. They are two guys you can count on not to take any days off,” Wharton said.
The Toros will wrap up their season next month after missing the USL playoffs again and we will have to wait and see where Wilmer Jr. and David’s careers will end up. But, no matter what, they will have shared this amazing experience and have an incredibly supportive family behind them.